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As Marty always says, 'One game at a time'

Why Martin Brodeur and the Devils became a metaphor for a cigarette-smoking caddy who could run marathons.

After the New Jersey Devils eked out a victory last night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, thus avoiding the embarrassment of a sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings, I got two texts: one from my uncle who's been a season-ticket holder since the franchise played its first game and another from a buddy in Las Vegas who's as rational a sports fan as I've ever known.

My uncle Andrew, "Ange," isn't a big texter. But he took the time to write: "1 down 3 to go."

My buddy Jim, "Slumpy," who is a BIG texter and despite being one of the last Luddites in the era of cell phones has fully embraced the abbreviated form of the genre, wrote: "In my best ole man jrz [think he means Jersey here] voice, 'ey ya nevah kno"

Being that Martin Brodeur is right up there with Al Leiter and Mike Piazza and David Wright as my favorite athletes since Larry Bird, I gave my obligatory response to both Ange and Slumpy when it comes to the Devils: "Let's go Marty!"

(Did anyone else so often as me use the eventually stale beer bong catch phrase "Brodeur!" that involved mimicking glove hand saves after errant tosses of the ping pong balls? There must be other obnoxious people out there?)

When I told my buddy about what my uncle said — considering my uncle is an older guy from North Jersey, it sorta all fit together — Slump relayed this little nugget of a story, of course, via text:

"One @ a time i once hada caddy who smokd lik 2 paks of newports a day telme he cud run a marathon and he sed he cud do it by findin a tree in fronta him and telemself he was just gona run to sed tree then he wud jus repeat dat proces ovr n ovr. if that guy cud run a marathon, da devs can do this!!"

Is that amazing story? I have no idea if Slumpy's caddy friend (Jim didn't play golf, he was a caddy when he was younger at some club up in Essex County, N.J.) could actually run a marathon, but it's inspiring anyway. Love that little text tale.

And it's also got a great little ending. Slumpy sent one more short text:

"And that caddys name? u guessed it: Marty"

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